Businesses in the United States are still waiting to see what happens with healthcare, and other policy changes in the new administration before they commit to investing or hiring, or any other change that can affect their business. The euphoria of the Election is passing, and with it the high optimism businesses felt. Numbers are not as promising as analyst predicted, jobs felt short by more than 100K, and the business community is waiting.
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Small-business owner optimism declined in March as sales expectations and earnings came back to earth after a post-election surge.
The National Federation of Independent Business said its monthly sentiment gauge fell 0.6 point to 104.7, a slightly larger decline than the 0.5-point dip forecast by economists surveyed by Econoday.
The post-election surge was the biggest in the four decades NFIB has been conducting its survey. The gauge rose again in January but then receded in February.
In a meeting with some of the most powerful CEOs in the world on Tuesday, President Donald Trump argued that small businesses were struggling to find financing.
“So many people come to see me — I see them all the time — small businesses that are unable to borrow from banks,” Trump said. “They never had a problem five, six, seven, 10 years ago. They had great bankers, great relationships, now they can’t borrow.”
The president blamed the post-financial-crisis Dodd-Frank banking regulations, which were enacted in July 2010, and higher capital requirements for the largest financial institutions. Trump said he planned to “streamline” or “eliminate” Dodd-Frank to allow small businesses to borrow again.
Trump’s narrative, however, is the opposite of what small-business owners are saying.
Republicans have called it quits for now on any plans to do away with Obamacare.
But while it may remain the law of the land, President Trump and GOP leaders in Congress don’t want it to stay that way.
That’s a lot of uncertainty for small business owners like Dr. Vicki Bralow and her husband Dr. Scott Bralow to handle. The couple is less than a month out from opening up their joint primary care office in Philadelphia. Until now, Vicki co-owned a practice downtown where she voluntarily offered her employees insurance.
“One year I’m paying $650 for a family policy and then the following year I’m paying $1,150 a month for a policy,” she said. “That’s a really, really big deal.”
Vicki’s old business is one of nearly 2 million nationwide that employs three to nine workers, by far the group of companies most vulnerable to Obamacare premium spikes.